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The Denver Nuggets Aren’t Resting

Nuggets NBA Finals

Winning an NBA championship isn’t going to stop the Denver Nuggets from being aggressive. Complacency doesn’t seem to fit the attitude of the Nuggets front office. Repeating as champions won’t be easy, considering it’s hard to replicate the magic of a title run. Just days before the calendar switched to a new year, the Nuggets are trying their best to make that happen. 


In preparation for the draft and free agency, the Nuggets have broken the seal on the draft transactions by trading a future 2024 first-round pick and their 40th overall pick in the 2023 Draft to the Indiana Pacers for the 29th and 32nd overall pick in this years draft. ESPN’s basketball insider Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the details of the trade


As Wojnarowski indicates in his reporting, the Nuggets had two picks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft after they completed the rare “NBA finals trade” with the Oklahoma City Thunder two weeks ago. 



Denver Nuggets Eying Replacements

Right after the Nuggets lifted the trophy after beating the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the newly crowned champions deployed a full-court press on the players who could become free agents on last year’s team. Most notably, wing Bruce Brown. The six-foot four-inch wing from the University of Miami was one of the steals of the summer last year, signing with the Nuggets for a modest two-year $13.2 million contract, with the second year being a player option. Brown over-performed that deal in both the regular season and postseason. Spearheaded by an inebriated Michael Malone at their parade, he identified that every single Nugget player, coach, and fan wants to see Brown back.



Plenty of teams will be jockeying for Brown’s services as a high-energy impact player who now has playoff experience. While the Nuggets would surely hope to keep Brown if he becomes too expensive, it’s a must they fill his void.


The move gives the Nuggets many different opportunities as the offseason begins. First, the Denver Nuggets could package their picks in the draft (No. 29, 32, and 37) into a higher pick. It also allows them to draft a low-cost player in the first round that might be needed to replace a rotation player. Last season, the Nuggets front office, led by general manager Calvin Booth was able to draft an impact player in Christian Braun during the later first round. Braun proved to be a valuable asset to the Nuggets in the playoffs


Savvy Decision Making


Prior to this morning, the Pacers had five picks between the two rounds. It was inevitable that they would move on from some of those picks before draft night. It was just a question of who the dancing partner would be. Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard has now made the Pacers a first-round draft pick richer. That pick improves any potential package they offer if they decide to move up in the draft. Or if their appetite is big enough, other moves with established talent could be had with the new assets they stored.


Trades like these won’t get the super-trendy headlines or occupy the main segment on debate shows. But it is the type of deal that deserves recognition. Both teams come out in a better position than before. It is also a showcase of how a contending team can still be savvy around the margins of the team while protecting the foundation.  


Matt Strout is a contributor to Back Sports Page. Matt studied Journalism and Sociology at Temple University for four years and graduated in May of 2022. While there, Matt wrote for multiple student and professional publications covering sports and the City of Philadelphia. Matt is originally from Maine and now resides in California. He has written content primarily for the NBA and PGA Tour. You can catch Matt frequently as a guest on the “Cut The Nets” podcast featured on the Back Sports Page network. When Matt is not writing, he enjoys cooking and playing golf. Follow Matt’s social media on Twitter @TheRealStrout or Instagram @matt_strout96 

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